The decline since 1996 has largely been in fish caught by industrial fleets and to a lesser extent a cut in the number of unwanted fish discarded at sea.
"We can see how industrial fisheries from developing countries are robbing these people of livelihoods and food.
We can also see, that in efforts to stem declines, we have been using more and more bycatch that was once thrown away." Seabirds have been around for sixty million years, and they are true survivalists: circumnavigating the globe without rest, diving more than 200 meters in treacherous seas for food, braving unpredictable weather and finding their way with few, if any, landmarks.
A more exhaustive study, taking over a decade shows that the annual catches between 19 were much bigger than thought, but that the decline after the peak year of 1996 was much faster than official figures.
The new research estimates the peak catch was 130 million tons, but declined at 1.2 million tons per year afterwards.
"Because if we rebuild stocks, we can rebuild to more than we thought before." There has been success in some places where fishing has been restricted for a few years, for example in the Norwegian herring and cod fisheries. Pauly said: "I don't see African countries, for example, rebuilding their stocks, or being allowed to by the foreign fleets that are working there, because the pressure to continue to fish is very strong.